EDMONTON – The city of Edmonton has elected a new mayor. Global News declares Don Iveson has won the mayoral race with more than 60 per cent of the vote.
In a three-way race with Karen Leibovici and Kerry Diotte, Iveson surged ahead to claim the mayor’s chair for the next four years.
While addressing the crowd at his campaign headquarters Monday night, Iveson thanked his opponents Leibovici and Diotte for their service.
“I applaud both of them for their courage,” he said. “Both in this campaign and as elected public servants.”
The 34-year-old gave a special shout out to his campaign manager, Chris Henderson, and thanked those who voted for him.
“Thank you all for being a part of it,” he said. “I’m very grateful to each and every one of you.”
He also thanked outgoing mayor Stephen Mandel, “whose leadership helped create the foundation we will soon begin building upon.
“He shaped a city of nearly endless potential,” Iveson explained. “He is a mentor and a friend to me and should be a hero to all Edmontonians.”
Iveson went on to say what an honour it was to take part in this campaign.
“Something is happening in Edmonton,” he said with a smile. “There is a new sense of optimism in our city. In the business community we see it… and we watch in awe as brilliant new entrepreneurs realize this is the best place to take a risk and to innovate.”
Iveson went on to say it’s time to stop underestimating Edmonton.
“When we get this city right, anything will be possible.”
And of course, Iveson thanked his family.
“She’s going to be a fantastic first lady,” he said of his wife, Sarah.
“Thank you Sarah and Dexter and Alice, and to my parents… and to my other parents, my in-laws… and my brother and sister-in-law, this has been a multi-generational effort.”
Iveson emphasized the fact that he’ll be a mayor for any Edmontonian.
“We must be a united city to accomplish everything that lies on the path ahead; this is my vow to you.”
And he finished off his speech by simply saying, “I am humbled and I am thrilled to be your next mayor.”
Watch: Global Edmonton’s expert panel breaks down Iveson’s victory:
Iveson received 132, 162 votes. Karen Leibovici came in second with 19.28 per cent of the vote. Kerry Diotte came in third with 15.41 per cent.
Fourth place went to Joshua Semotiuk with 1.22 per cent of the vote, followed by Gordon Ward with 1.05 per cent and Kristine Acielo with 0.6 per cent.
“This was a landslide, and I don’t there’s any one thing that you could pin it on to explain it,” said political analyst and former city councillor, Jim Taylor. “I think it has to be the perfect storm of people voting strategically, thinking there might be a split, people getting caught up with Don, young vote coming out…I think it has to be the perfect storm of about four different things.”
Taylor said the win reminded him of when Iveson beat incumbent councillor Mike Nickel in 2007. According to Taylor, that was the first time in five years that an incumbent’s been beaten.
“And Don did it quite handily. And so maybe there was a clue back there that this guy knows how to put together a team, and knows how to do it. And you know, he should be commended, it was an incredible win.”
Watch: Global News speaks one-on-one with mayor-elect Don Iveson, following his commanding win:
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Iveson stuck to his mission of leading a positive campaign, despite taking some heat from a couple of his fellow mayoral candidates.
Iveson was born and raised in Edmonton. He attended the University of Alberta and wrote for the school’s newspaper, The Gateway.
After two years in Toronto, Iveson returned to Edmonton and worked as the business manager of The Gateway, before switching to a government relations position with the University of Alberta.
Iveson first ran for City Council in 2007, when he was elected to serve Ward 10. He has served six years (two terms) on Council.
Iveson announced his candidacy on June 17, after Stephen Mandel announced on May 21, he would not be seeking a fourth term as mayor.
Watch: Don Iveson’s full victory speech:
For complete coverage and live election results from across Alberta, visit our Decision Alberta 2013 page.
Get breaking news and daily digest emails sent right to your inbox – sign up for Global News email alerts below:
With files from Trish Kozicka, Global News